Sunday, November 18, 2012

Pillar of Cloud

Nothing like a new war between Hamas and Israel to wake me from my blumber (blogging slumber).

Like a majority of people, I want the violence between Hamas and Israel to end. However, a ceasefire now won't necessarily achieve that goal. I don't know what will. If the current operation ends with a return to the previous status quo, where Israeli towns near Gaza would regularly be attacked without Israel doing anything about it, we might as well reach a so-called ceasefire immediately, so at least less people will be at risk in the short run.

However, if the operation can cripple Hamas and other terrorist organizations badly enough that their ability to fire at Israel is greatly reduced, and if Hamas's ability to import weapons is also crippled, the operation should continue until those goals are met. After that, a ceasefire should be reached, and every single violation of it - every shelling of a kibbutz on the border, every Qassam on Sderot, etc. - should result in significant response by Israel, and not just shooting back at the specific squad responsible. However, together with that stick, Israel should offer a carrot of restricting the blockade on Gaza to weaponry and things that are likely to be used to manufacture weapons, letting everything else in.

Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009 was a failure because it ended with a return to the situation that existed before. We should not let Operation Pillar of Defense (or as it is called in Hebrew, Operation Pillar of Cloud) end the same way.